How much does it cost to treat acne properly?

Vanessa Gibbs

Let’s face it, when it comes to treating acne properly, navigating life’s skincare aisle can be a confusing shopping trip. With high street brands, luxury brands and pharma-grade brands available at a range of different price points there’s so much - perhaps too much - to choose from. 

But exactly how much of your hard-earned cash should you be spending on your skincare? If you suffer from acne, chances are you’re looking into taking your skin routine a little more seriously - if you’re not, then you should be! The products you use will have a huge impact on your skin, so you want to make sure you’re spending your money wisely.

Here at Face Dr, we value healthy skin, so our product recommendations are driven by one main thing: Results. That’s right. Where products are concerned, if they’re distributed by us, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the proof is in the pudding. We know how important it is for people with acne to see their products paying off, so we’re not going to waste our - or more importantly, your - time pushing anything that falls short of our high standard. Want to skip ahead to professional advice? Book your free online skincare consultation with a Skin Expert by clicking the button below.


Read on to find out more about how much it might cost to treat acne properly.

Woman with clear skin looking in mirror using skincare products for acne

Highstreet vs Medical Grade: What’s the difference?

Acne is one of the most common skin concerns and we know that when it comes to treating it properly, budget blemish busters simply don’t cut the mustard. Especially if you’re suffering from more aggressive forms of acne such as cystic acne. 

Just to be clear, that’s not us saying that you won’t get results with high street products. Some brands have fantastic ranges and receive rage reviews from beauty editors and dermatologists. However, when it comes to acne, it’s all about active topical ingredients - and you simply can’t get high enough concentrations unless you go medical grade. 

We use prescription-strength products developed by leading dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi to address acne,’ says Rebecca - one of our in-house skin experts.  ‘It will improve your overall skin health by working deeper into the layers of the skin. High street brands can only go so far in the layers of the skin but medical grade has  been formulated to have more impact in epidermal and dermal layers.’ 

When purchasing products, it’s worth remembering that you’re paying for those all-important active ingredients. Higher doses inevitably result in a higher-than-average price tag but trust us when we say it’s worth it.  When all is said and done, you get what you pay for with skincare. 

Test the waters first…

With all that being said, we understand that shelling out cash on cosmetics might not be at the top of your priority list. If that’s the case, you’ll be relieved to know that most brands offer starter kits. These usually provide you with enough product to see you through three months - long enough for you to begin to see results. 

Buying products in a batch like this means you can try them out without making a massive financial commitment. One of our trusted brands ZO Skin Health offers an acne-busting starter kit

You get everything you need for a whole new routine and you can walk away from the purchase knowing that these products have been produced by leading dermatologists and pack a punch when it comes to efficacy.

Skincare products for acne



If you’re ready to skip the starter kits and go straight into a full-sized reboot of your routine, we’ve got just the product range for you. ZO Skin Health was developed by dermatologist Dr Zein Obagi and countless clients have seen amazing results in their skin from using his products. 

Here at Face Dr, we’ve found that ZO Skin Health products are brilliant for treating acne, so we asked Rebecca to round up five of her clients’ favourites:

#1 ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Cleanser:  ‘A gentle exfoliating cleanser to decongest the pores. Contains salicylic acid to clean dirt, oil, make-up from the skin.’ 

#2 ZO Skin Health Dual action scrub:  ‘This is an excellent exfoliator!  It will smooth skin, clears the pores, destroys acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation. Contains lactic acid and salicylic acid - hero ingredients for acne!

#3 ZO Skin Health Oil Control pads: ‘These provide maximum-strength acne prevention solution to minimise oil, tighten the pores and exfoliate skin-clogging cells. Contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid and mandelic acid.’

#4 ZO Skin Health Acne Control: ‘A maximum- strength treatment to reduce and control oil production.  Neutralises bacteria to prevent future acne breakouts, inflamed and irritated skin.  Contains micronized benzoyl peroxide and tea tree.’

#5 ZO Skin Health Complexion Clearing Masque: ‘A natural, clay-based formula to treat acne. An amazing product for oily/acne skin. Absorbs excess oils and removes debris to keep the pores clear. Calms irritation and inflammation, treats and prevents acne breakouts and reduces the sebum.  Contains sulfur, kaolin and glycerin.’



We can’t speak for every establishment, but at Face Dr we don’t believe in paying for knowledge. If you’re looking to find out more about your skin and what it needs, we offer online skincare consultations for free. Yep, you read that correctly. 

Acne is something we’re used to treating, so we consider ourselves pros on the matter. If you’re in need of advice on the kind of acne you have, how best to treat your skin and how much a personalised routine might cost you, click here to book a slot with one of our experts. 

Next steps 

Face Dr skin expert giving online skincare consultation for acne

When all is said and done, what you spend on something is inextricably linked to what you think that thing is worth. Here at Face Dr, we place great value on skin. For us, the mental and medical benefits of happy, healthy skin are pretty much priceless. 

If you’re a long-term acne sufferer and you’re yet to see results with your high-street skincare routine, paying a little extra to treat it properly with pharma-grade products might be the way forward. You may be paying a steeper upfront cost, but if you’re spending that money on products that actually work on your skin, it’ll leave you with lasting benefits and cost less in the long run. 

Find out which Obagi Medical skincare kit is better for you; Obagi Nu-Derm or Obagi CLENZIderm. Find out pricing, how to buy and more.
Read more
If you suffer from acne, you may have come across the ingredient benzoyl peroxide and wondered whether or not it could work for you. This strong, effective ingredient has long been used in skincare products to clear troublesome acne, and though it may sound like a scary chemical, it could in fact be the ingredient you’ve been looking for. We’re breaking down all things benzoyl peroxide; the benefits, side effects, products you’ll find it in, and more.
Read more
Read our Skin Expert guide about which skincare and makeup ingredients you should avoid whilst using a Tretinoin cream or gel.
Read more

What is Tretinoin and how does it work?

By Hannah Wilson

When it comes to skincare there are tons of obscure ingredients out there that seem a bit of a mystery. Perhaps you have come across...
Read more
Struggling with acne vulgaris and not sure what you should be doing to help your skin? Our skin experts at Face Dr have rounded up 5 top tips that can make all the difference for acne-prone skin.
Read more